Australia: Port of Melbourne Reaffirms Expansion Plans
Premier Ted Baillieu and Minister for Ports Denis Napthine announced trade figures at the Port of Melbourne surged in the 2011-12 financial year with a 9.1 per cent overall increase at Australasia’s busiest container and general cargo port.
Mr Baillieu said in the 2011-12 financial year total port trade grew to 87 million revenue tonnes up from 79.7 million revenue tonnes in the previous year.
“This includes a 7.8 per cent increase in total container throughput with the Port of Melbourne handling 2.58 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, smashing the previous year’s record of 2.39 million TEUs,” Mr Baillieu said.
“It is particularly pleasing to note that in the face of a high Australian Dollar and floods in the northern part of the state, our local producers made a strong contribution to this growth with full container exports increasing by 9.8 per cent. Container imports also increased by 7.1 per cent on the previous year,” Mr Baillieu said.
The summary of trade figures at the Port of Melbourne includes: Total trade up 9.1 per cent to 87 million revenue tonnes; Total container throughput up 7.8 per cent to 2.58 million TEU; Full container exports up 9.8 per cent; Full container imports up 7.1 per cent; Dry bulk up 20.9 per cent to 4.2 million revenue tonnes; Liquid bulk up 21.5 per cent to 6.4 million revenue tonnes; Total motor vehicles up 4.5 per cent; New automotive imports/exports to 356,000 units; and 3,379 total ship visits
Mr Baillieu said the figures supported the Victorian Coalition Government’s decision to approve a $1.6 billion major expansion of the port including the development of a third container terminal and a purpose built automotive facility at Webb Dock.
“This massive and continuing increase in trade reaffirms the Coalition Government’s decision to bring forward the development of the Port of Hastings to address medium to long term container capacity for Victoria and Australia,” Mr Baillieu said.
Dr Napthine said the Port Expansion Project would ensure the Port of Melbourne continued to be a key economic asset for the state for many decades to come.
“The Port of Melbourne is an absolutely critical component of the Victorian economy, directly supporting about 14,000 jobs and many more indirect jobs throughout the state.
“Every business and household in Victoria relies upon an efficient and competitive port to export or import their products and supplies.”
“The Coalition Government has responded to Victoria’s rising trade requirements with a sound strategy to deliver the short to long-term capacity our state clearly needs,” Dr Napthine said.
Port of Melbourne Chief Executive Stephen Bradford said the port is handling more than a million extra containers each year than it did a decade ago, equivalent to 7,000 containers a day on average.
“With an increase in throughput of 7.8 per cent in 2011-12, container growth is ahead of the long-term average of around 6.5 per cent over the last decade,” Mr Bradford said.
“Strong growth presents new challenges which is why PoMC is preparing to deliver the largest landside port development project in a generation to expand the port’s container and automotive capacity.”
Dredging Today Staff, July 17, 2012; Image: portofmelbourne